ALTAMONT -- Eastern Illinois University alumna Sarah Gillespie’s artwork will be displayed at four galleries in two states during February, including the Ballard Nature Center.

The Newton native's artwork is a regular part of displays and signs at the nature center, located west of Effingham along U.S. Route 40. Gillespie, who is a member of the Effingham Art Guild, also has a figure drawing and a fiber art piece that are part of the center’s new archeological display.

Gillespie is studying and teaching art as a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which has led to her entry in the Masters of Fine Arts Invitational that is being held through Feb. 21 at St. Charles Community College in St. Charles, Mo.

The invited artists are graduate students from SIUE, as well as Washington University and Fontbonne University. Nine of her works of art are being exhibited at this invitational.

Also in Missouri, Gillespie’s "38˚54’53.1”N 88˚14’24.60”W" artwork will be displayed from Feb. 3 to March 2 as part of the 35th annual Paper in Particular exhibition at Columbia College. Gillespie’s artwork there includes inlays of hand-crafted botanical papers.

In Illinois, Gillespie will show a selection of her artwork through Feb. 22 in the Awards of Excellence exhibit at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton. This exhibit features Gillespie's "Miniscule and Monumental" series, which emphasizes her fascination with the similarities of nature’s patterns observable in both macro- and microscopic life.

“On to silk organza textile, I digitally print images which have been generated by a scanning electron microscope. By arranging the silk onto a surface composed of watercolor, ink, graphite and archival paper, I create evocative art," Gillespie said in a press release.

In addition, Gillespie is one of the first graduate art students to exhibit in SIUE’s new gallery within the university’s recently built Art and Design West. The Graduate Exhibition there opened Jan. 23.

Gillespie’s first thesis exhibition will be held from April 16 to 23 at the SIUE Art and Design West’s gallery. The second will be held from April 26 to May 4 at Jacoby Arts Center, with a reception May 2. The thesis exhibitions will feature a selection of Gillespie’s artwork created during her studies in the Master of Fine Arts program at SIUE.

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